Overall, I think that 2013 was a good year for those of us in the “food movement”. People are becoming more educated, and are starting to make healthier choices for their families. There have also been some major setbacks, but that is to be expected. Change doesn’t happen overnight, or in a week, a month, or a year. It takes time and people spreading the message to accomplish great things. Thank you to all of you out there voting with your dollars, marching, or educating yourselves on our food system! Here are some of the highlights and low points of 2013.
1. Chipotle becomes first restaurant to voluntarily label GMOs, and is now trying to go GMO free. It’s nice to have a good choice out there while traveling! We had Chipotle at 6am at the airport last week:)
2. Kraft removes artificial dyes from some of its products. The regular mac and cheese still contains the dyes, but many of the ones geared specifically toward children will not (SpongeBob etc.).
3. Original Cheerios goes GMO free. I think this technically happened in the first few days of this year, but who’s counting? Sometime in the near future, original Cheerios will be GMO free. It’s probably the least difficult one for them to change, as corn starch and sugar are the only two things that would be GMO anyway, but it’s a start!
4. March Against Monsanto has 2 million marchers worldwide. 2 million is a lot of people!
5. Connecticut and Maine pass GMO labeling laws. Hopefully more will follow suit!
Now for the bad news…
1. Washington state GMO labeling bill fails. It’s hard for the food movement to keep up with the millions being thrown into advertising by Big Food!
2. 50% of chicken tested contains antibiotic resistant bacteria. Gross. And Scary. The EU has reduced their salmonella contamination to below 1%, ours is still hovering between 11-16% each year. I know this is less a food movement issue and more a public health concern, but it’s so alarming that I thought I’d address it. Eat antibiotic free chicken!
3. A bill has been introduced that would allow products that contain GMOs to be labeled ‘natural’ or ‘all natural’. Thankfully, it’s not law…yet.
4. The Obama administration appointed a former Monsanto lobbyist as the new head of food safety.
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, but I’m sure I’ve missed some! It was a busy year for the foodies of the US, and hopefully 2014 will be as well. Is there anything that you noticed that I missed? Let me know in the comments!!!
If you are curious about my feelings on GMOs and all things food, read this post.
Until our next adventure,